Bargaining When Leaving Is The Better Option


 Now the Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.”

-I Samuel 16:1, NKJV

I can still remember the feelings vividly.

It felt like I was walking through a living nightmare. My wife had left me. I knew–in my heart–the divorce was just a matter of time. And–truth be told–I knew in my gut that she would be cheating on me at some point, if she was not already. Both were correct.

Yet I fought as hard as I could to remain married to her.

In my heart, I was bargaining with God (and whoever might be able to get her to stay) because I just wanted to return to the days when my life and marriage had been intact. I was trying to bargain when I should have been preparing to leave (or divorce) her myself.

It is not like I lacked enough Biblical warrants to take a step in that direction. Yet I was stuck bargaining until the end–i.e. the divorce.

This was grief speaking, of course. And fear.

I was terrified of the future and simply could not take in the realities of the present. It was shock. I was in shock. Divorce was not supposed to happen to us! My stance had always been to stick through even the toughest of times.

But that did not matter when one has married a cheating quitter as I had.

I think many of us stay beyond what is reasonable due to the incredible amount of loss and fear regarding the future. We do not want the unjust stigma surrounding being divorced in the Christian community. Plus, we do not want the effects of divorce on our lives (not to mention the children’s).

Finally, we have a hard time believing the cold, hard facts. I did not want to believe my (first) wife was capable of cheating on me and attacking me in vicious ways–IMO–that she did. This person is not the person we thought we married.

We are like Samuel mourning over Saul when God had already rejected Saul as king. Lost dreams, security, self-identity, and values–i.e. in the sense of never divorcing–are hard things to accept and move through in the grieving process.

This is why I write this blog:

I want to help those of you who find yourself living in shock and disbelief as I once was. Someone who is at this juncture needs wise counselors–in the Biblical sense–and true friends who are willing to present gently the cold hard facts even though it seems cruel. It is kindness and not cruelty to help faithful spouses grasp the dark reality regarding their ravaged marriage.

Armed with truth and living in reality–even a dark one–is better than remaining in bondage to lies and fantasy. Truth gives us power to move forward. Reality grounds us and enables us not to be trapped by the lies often flowing from the cheater and his/her cohorts.

3 thoughts on “Bargaining When Leaving Is The Better Option”

  1. Thank you DM. Having snippets like this one – to answer the “why did you grieve so long” or the other “why’s” is so helpful. Helpful in that it shakes those “well- intentioned” but really just nosy folks off. And at the same time, makes it okay to be human, fallible and hurt beyond description as you forge your way towards (At least for me) what I hope is the direction God wants me to go in.

  2. Thank you, David, for putting into words what so many of us have felt but were too numb and shocked to realize. Thank you for the time you put into this blog this year. God used it mightily in my life.

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